Monday, February 4, 2013

Why I like knitters more than I like dancers

(Before anybody writes me an angry email about how their mother’s uncle’s niece is an aspiring dancer and the loveliest person you’ll ever meet, please bear in mind that your VoHostess was herself a professional ballerina for 20+ years, so she speaks from a place of intimate familiarity, which we all know breeds contempt).

The following are the rules for participating in the most prominent dancer's forum on the web.  Since I don't want to get kicked off the forum, I will just describe in general terms.

There are SIXTEEN STICKY THREADS DISCUSSING RULES.  You read that right--the moderators started independent threads in which to expound on each rule individually.

Rule #1:  The first rule about dance forum is don't talk about dance forum.

Rule #2:  Rule detailing who is allowed to respond to whom and more emphatically, who is NOT allowed to do so.

Rule #3:  Rule detailing allowable grammar and punctuation.

Rule #4:  Rule detailing procedure that will be followed for violation of Rules.

Rule #5:  Rule detailing punitive actions that will be taken against those who have been deemed to have broken the Rules.

Rule #6:  Rule detailing which spellings and definitions of ballet terminology will be TOLERATED [sic].

Rule #7:  Rule detailing acceptable decorum and netiquette (in which the word "netiquette" itself is described as "borderline acceptable").

Rule #8:  Rule detailing what is and more importantly is NOT allowed in signature lines.

Rule #9:  Rule detailing conditions under which new members will be allowed to begin participating in the forums.

Rule #10:  Rule detailing exactly how you will be kicked off if you disagree with the Rules.

Rule #11:  Rule detailing who has authority to edit and revise Rules.

Rule #12:  Rule detailing which Rules have priority over other Rules.

Rule #13:  Rule detailing how often and under what conditions Rules will be revised.

Rule #14:  Rule detailing the procedure for repealing a Rule.

Rule #15:  Rule detailing why there is no appeal process for getting yourself kicked off the forum (the essence of which is "ignorance of the law is not an adequate defense").

Rule #16:  Rule detailing why there is to be no discussion of the Rules amongst non-Rulemaking members.

And that, in a very large and grumpy nutshell, is why Ella takes karate.


By contrast, here are the rules for the biggest KNITTERS forum on the web, having approximately a zillion* more members than the biggest dancers forum on the web (* that number is not much of an exaggeration--the biggest knitters forum on the web has over TWO MILLION REGISTERED MEMBERS--whereas the biggest dancers forum has only 10,000 registered members).

Rule #1:  Be respectful.  No hate speech, no personal attacks.  Don't tell other people's secrets.

Rule #2:  Some people will disagree with you.  Let it go.

Rule #3:  Offer only constructive comments.  If you have an issue with a person or business, take it directly to them and give them a chance to make it right.

Rule #4:  People of all ages, races, nationalities, ethnicities, religious, political parties, and knitting abilities are welcome.  Welcome others and help them be part of the gang.

Rule #5:  No spam.

Rule #6:  Don't use the forums for personal gain.  We're help to help each other, not just ourselves.

My favorite part of this forum's policy statement is this:  "These rules are meant to help our community grow and stay healthy."  That is a worthy and noble goal for any group, including the family unit.

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